When people think of the March on Washington, the first person that comes to mind is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But volunteers of the historical event also attribute the success of that day to Bayard Rustin – a.k.a. “Mr. March on Washington.” Bayard Rustin was the lead organizer of the August 28th march and is known as the only civil rights activist to pull together an event of such magnitude.
Bayard Rustin was a Pennsylvania native who was raised by a Quaker grandmother. An activist since he was a teen, Rustin had worked as a nightclub singer in Harlem, and became part of a communist youth group, serving jailed time in WWII for resistance. Rustin had been sent to prison more than two dozen times for protesting and he was on the FBI’s hot list, with wiretaps on his phone line.
It was Rustin who booked the buses for the magnanimous march, scheduled speech time & planned menus. But none of that would prove to be impossible for a black man who was openly gay in 1963. Ten years prior, he had been arrested for engaging with men in a parked car in California, which was illegal. His sexuality was an issue for other political officials around him. In 1960, Adam Clayton Powell threatened to start a rumor that King was one of Rustin’s lovers if he didn’t expel him from the circle of activists.
Among the planning tasks of the march was controlling law enforcement. It was Rustin who interviewed each officer to ensure a non-violent response in case of resistance. The volunteers had a 12-page manual made by Rustin to ensure a smooth operation.
Only one day following the March on Washington, Rustin organized a group of 16 interracial men to boycott the bus system in the South. He would lead the organization of the Montgomery Bus Boycott for the SCLC and led Dr. King to his affiliation with Ghandi.
Bayard Rustin died in 1987. A book of his letters is expected to be published in spring 2014.
President Barack Obama announced this week that Rustin is on the list of recipients for the Presidential Medal of Freedom this year. Rustin will receive a posthumous award along with a host of 15 additional recipients, including Former President Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his infamous “I Have a Dream” speech.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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